The Political Economy of Kyrgyzstan

by Zack Kramer The Kyrgyz are a Turkic ethnic group first recognized as a distinct people by Chinese sources dating back to the second century B.C.E. The ethnonym “Kyrgyz” has its origins in a Turkic root meaning “forty”, a reference to a legendary forty original tribes that made up the ancient Kyrgyz people. They appear … Continue reading The Political Economy of Kyrgyzstan

The Political Economy of Kazakhstan

by Zack Kramer The Kazakhs emerged as a distinct ethnic group in the 14th and 15th centuries, essentially through an intermingling of local Turkic tribes with more recently arrived Mongolian peoples. The ethnonym Kazakh derives from an old Turkic root meaning “wanderer,” reflecting their nomadic origins. That same root, via a fairly circuitous path, is … Continue reading The Political Economy of Kazakhstan

Culture and Politics in Tokugawa Japan, Part 2: The Floating World

by Carson Rogers Ukiyo is Japanese for “the floating world.” It is a term that has multiple meanings and is used throughout most of Japan’s history. But it is most closely identified with the Tokugawa period, used to describe both its overall culture and its art. Before the Tokugawa period ukiyo was used by monks … Continue reading Culture and Politics in Tokugawa Japan, Part 2: The Floating World

Inaccurate Conception: Orthodoxy, Autocephaly, and the Nation-State

It's time for another guest post! Today we've got a piece by freelance writer and Harvard Divinity School student Hannah Gais on the recent schism between the Russian Orthodox Church and the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople over the latter's decision to give Ukrainian church leaders permission to form an autocephalous Ukrainian Orthodox Church. Hannah argues … Continue reading Inaccurate Conception: Orthodoxy, Autocephaly, and the Nation-State

Culture and Politics in Tokugawa Japan, Part 1: Country in Chains

We've got a new guest post today from writer Carson Rogers. I love Japanese history but know very little about it. Luckily Carson does, and today he begins what looks like a two-part series on the politics and culture of the Edo/Tokugawa period. Today's installment looks at the political structure of that period and how … Continue reading Culture and Politics in Tokugawa Japan, Part 1: Country in Chains